It is inevitable, some students will finish their sewing project ages before other students. Some students are just natural sewers, or they have more background experience. When this happens, I sometimes struggle with finding activities that will occupy my fast sewers when they finish their sewing projects early and have to wait for their classmates to catch up.
Last semester I found a great filler activity that kept my fast sewers engaged and entertained while their classmates continued working on their projects. Enter the “Felt Friends Hand Warmers.” When I first found this idea it was winter, and very cold outside. These hand-warmers would also work as cute stuffed animals or bean-bags.
My students had the option of choosing 3 different patterns, they could make: an owl; fox; or monster. They were able to choose the colors for their hand-warmers with leftover felt scraps (I have a huge stock-pile in my classroom closet).
I got the pattern pieces from various online sites:
Owl Pattern Pieces: http://www.repeatcrafterme.com/2012/12/homemade-hand-warmers.html
Fox Pattern Pieces: http://www.scribd.com/doc/141706040/Fox-Softie-Pattern
After the students cut out their pattern pieces and felt they would sew the details/designs on the front piece of their felt. I had an assortment of thread and embroidery floss they could choose from to personalize their hand-warmers.
To attach the front and back pieces, they just overcast stitched before leaving a gap to add rice in the middle.
Add regular white rice as the filler if creating a hand-warmer or add stuffing if creating a mini pillow/stuffed animal.
Overcast stitch to close the opening.
The students ended up LOVING their hand-warmers and I had other classes begging me to let them make the hand-warmers as well.
If the students created these as hand-warmers and filled them with rice, they can microwave their Felt Friend for 30 seconds to keep warm. Mine stayed warm for about 5-10 minutes and fit really nicely in a glove or even shoe!